Columbia College Coach Fired for Taking Team to Olive Garden

Justin Bishop, the seventh-year head coach of NAIA cross country program Columbia College, was allegedly fired after he took his team to Olive Garden before the Appalachian Cross Country Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee on Nov. 3, a petition in support of Bishop revealed recently. 

The women went on to finish the AAC Conference Championships in third-place, while the men finished seventh. 

The petition reads that "Justin was wrongfully terminated by the Athletic Director Glen Crawford for taking his Cross-Country team to dinner at Olive Garden after their conference meet where multiple athletes broke personal bests, several school records broken and three students qualifying (sic) for the NAIA Nationals.

Note: While the petition says Bishop took the team to Olive Garden after the conference meet, the actual meal in question was before the conference competition, per a source close to the team. 

"Glen stated that Justin didn't receive approval before feeding his athletes and that Justin was being insubordinate .... According to Glen feeding the athletes a healthy meal at $11.80 a student wasn't enough for his budget plants and as a result terminated Coach Bishop." 

Thus far, the petition has generated 446 signatures. 

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